(Brighton, England)I’m working out, eating right but the pounds are just not shifting and it’s getting me down.
I’m (a young) 45 year old, 5′ 11 and a ‘big guy’ (broad shoulders big chest etc.) I’ve been overweight for years and decided to do something about it this year as we are expecting our first child :-).
I joined a health club and on 17th Feb 2011 (according to the fancy £1 machine in the changing room) I was 15 stone 11lb (221 pounds) with a BMI of 30.3 and body fat of 29.3 kg (64 pounds).
I started working-out 3 times a week (20-30 minutes cardio and then weights) and threw in a high intensity Boxercise class once a week too. I pretty rigidly followed a CKD diet and rarely have carbs anymore except on load up weekend days.
By 8th April I was 14 stone 11 pounds (207 pounds) with a BMI of 28.9 and body fat of 26.9kg Yay! – I’d shifted a stone (14 pounds) – awesome!
However since then, I have not managed to shift 1 single, lousy pound of weight and I’m stuck, plateaued, and disheartened by 2 months with no weight-loss.
I eat high protein, low (to zero) carb every day and I drink tons of water. I don’t do caffeine, or sugar and I’m even taking OxyElite Pro to burn fat and speed up my metabolism but since April I haven’t lost a pound!
Also, I’ve just done 3 days of that god-awful (Fake) British Heart Foundation (exceptionally low-calorie) diet that says you could shift 10lbs in 3 days to try and jump start my weight loss – just weighed myself – absolutely no change!
Just to let you know, I’m currently in my 3rd week of your 3day workout routine and am really enjoying it (however pull-ups and Fridays are brutal and I’m not sure my Romanian deadlift technique is right, but I’ll keep trying). I’m still doing the Boxercise and an hour of Pilates on my ‘rest’ days.
Looking at today’s weigh-machine readings I am 15 stone (210 pounds) with a BMI of 29.2 and body-fat of 25.6kg.
I guess the good news is that the body fat keeps dropping (nearly 4kg in 4 months – is this good?) However the readout also tells me that my ideal BMI should be around 22 and that my ideal weight should be 12 stone 6lb (174 pounds) – if I live to be 4,000 I will never see that at this rate
I know that muscle weighs more than fat and that we shouldn’t be slaves to the scales but this is beginning to really p*ss me off.
What else can I possibly do??
There are a number of questions here so I’ll try to answer them as completely as I can but I’d just like to begin by congratulating you on the baby and saying well done for the weight you’ve already lost.
You’re clearly trying hard, but at the moment you’re spinning your wheels and not making any progress. Don’t worry as I can help you out.
Let’s start by taking a look at where you’ve come from and where you are today:
Weight Loss Progress
The Beginning – 17th Feb 2011
Weight: 15 stone 11lb = 221 pounds
Body Fat – 29.3kg = 64 pounds
Body Fat % = 29%
Midway – 8th April 2011
Weight: 14 stone 11lb = 207 pounds
Body Fat – 26.9kg = 59 pounds
Body Fat % = 28.5%
Now – 14th June 2011
Weight: 15 stone = 210 pounds
Body Fat – 25.6kg = 56 pounds
Body Fat % = 26.6%
Total Weight Loss – 11 pounds
Total Body Fat Loss – 8 pounds
Total Body Fat % Reduction – 2.4%
You’ve made a great start here Rich and I believe that you’ve probably lost more fat but because you’re lifting weights, you will be building muscle at the same time. This can often mask your true progress and many dieters get discouraged when they’re doing just fine!
Usually fat loss and simultaneous muscle building is near impossible but beginners to weight training are able to achieve it. I’m training two girls at the moment and both are getting leaner despite the scale staying put, this is because they are building lean muscle mass and losing fat at the same time.
You may have lost an extra 5 pounds of fat but because you’ve gained 5 pounds of muscle you think you’re going nowhere when in fact you’re making great progress!
A little tip…the machines in the gym that measure body fat are notoriously inaccurate so don’t pay too much attention to them. I would
The reason BMI is so poor is because it doesn’t take into account muscle mass. You could have a 5 foot 5 200 pound bodybuilder with 5% body fat who would show up as overweight as he weighs more than a “normal” 5 foot 5 person should. The BMI chart assumes all weight is fat and ignores muscle mass.
Weight Loss Diet Plan
Usually the reason people are struggling to lose weight is one of two reasons:
- Their diets are not set up properly
- They don’t track their diets properly
Are you tracking your diet each day? If not I recommend you get a free account at fitday.com and start tracking your calories and nutrients every day. This will make a HUGE difference if you’ve not be doing so already.
Also, be sure your calories aren’t set too low as this can make weight loss difficult, I wrote about this in Weight Loss Calorie Intake.
In terms of setting up a ketogenic diet plan, the first time I did a keto diet I read Lyle McDonalds’ The Ketogenic Diet book and it answered every question I had and provided a diet plan for me to follow.
Whilst Lyle hates been referred to as “The Keto Guru” it gives you an idea of how well respected that book was and it’s become known as the essential ketogenic diet book.
I really recommend picking up a copy as it’s the most complete book available on the subject.
You can read more about the book here:
You mentioned you are using my 3day workout routine which I hope is working out well for you, it will certainly take care of maintaining your muscle mass.
You also mentioned you’re doing 3 cardio sessions per week before weights and then boxercise. I recommend you drop cardio before weights as it saps your strength. You need to try to get stronger every workout so move your cardio to after weights or on a separate day.
You don’t say how intense the cardio is but you do mention that boxercise is high intensity. Ketogenic diets are low carb by nature and intense intervals on a low carb diet is usually a disaster waiting to happen.
This is because high intensity exercise uses mainly glucose (from carbs) for fuel and as your diet doesn’t provide many, it quickly depletes your stores which can cause recovery issues and put the brakes on fat loss.
If you really love boxercise try to do it on a weekend when you’ve eaten carbs and your body will be able to recover better. You may also wish to consider dropping pilates as you might be doing too much and cutting back could help get the scale moving again!
I explain why working out less is better when you want to lose weight in this series of articles:
Try to stick with low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio where you walk for 30-60 minutes on an incline treadmill at 3-4 mph. This type of cardio primarily uses fat for fuel and will be better suited to your overall diet plan.
You mention that you take a fat burner to speed up your metabolism. In my opinion most fat burners don’t really do much except from suppress your appetite but as the ketogenic diet kills hunger this may not be an issue for you. If you can afford it then I’m sure it can’t hurt, but I wonder how much it contributes to your weight loss.
You also mentioned that you don’t do caffeine or sugar, for sure you want to steer clear of sugar but you should embrace caffeine!
It has a number of benefits such as preventing muscle cramps, elevating metabolism and it helps you workout longer. Best of all its very low calorie and you can even make a keto coffee which you can see on my Ketogenic Diet Recipes page.
I really think you can do it Rich, you’ve made great progress up until now so your desire to change your body is unquestionable. I think you just need some guidance which I hope I’ve provided for you.
I’m confident that if you set up your diet properly and track it daily you’ll be able to lose the weight you wanted and get the body your efforts deserve!
As ever, keep in contact and let us know how you progress!
Best of luck,